By Jaxon Van Derbeken
Chronicle Staff Writer
July 15, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO -- A disgruntled city computer engineer has virtually
commandeered San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar computer network,
altering it to deny access to top administrators even as he sits in jail
on $5 million bail, authorities said Monday.
Terry Childs, a 43-year-old computer network administrator who lives in
Pittsburg, has been charged with four counts of computer tampering and
is scheduled to be arraigned today.
Prosecutors say Childs, who works in the Department of Technology at a
base salary of just over $126,000, tampered with the city's new FiberWAN
(Wide Area Network), where records such as officials' e-mails, city
payroll files, confidential law enforcement documents and jail inmates'
bookings are stored.
Childs created a password that granted him exclusive access to the
system, authorities said. He initially gave pass codes to police, but
they didn't work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the real code
even when threatened with arrest, they said.
He was taken into custody Sunday. City officials said late Monday that
they had made some headway into cracking his pass codes and regaining
access to the system.
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